Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Utah State Aggies are 1-3 this season, and that's not really a surprise; the Aggies haven't had a winning record since 1996, when they went 6-5 and were almost invited to a bowl game. Their last bowl win? 1993. Still, head coach Gary Andersen is only in his second year atop the program, which means there's still a good deal of novelty to the struggles for him. Thus, pressure, lost sleep, and disaster.
As the Salt Lake Tribune reports, Andersen fell at his house in Logan, Utah earlier this week, losing consciousness and hurting his neck. The culprit? Stress:
Andersen was taken to the emergency room, treated and released. He was fitted with a neck brace, which he must wear for the next five weeks, but the coach will be back on the sidelines when Utah State hosts BYU at 6 p.m. today at Romney Stadium.
“The good news is that I’m fine,” Andersen told the The Salt Lake Tribune. “The doctors have run a bunch of tests on me, but what happened was 98 percent stress-related. I’m going to learn from it. I need to focus better, I need to relax and take better care of myself.”
Andersen said he hadn’t been eating much and was sleeping only three hours a night — tops — during USU’s two-game skid.
It's intellectually infantile (and yet common) to think that Andersen's high salary should prevent him from feeling stress, or that this reflects a lack of character on his part; stress produces a chemical reaction in the brain, and if they're not regulated well enough (through lifestyle choices and/or by your brain's other chemical processes), those stress chemicals can have seriously adverse -- and often deadly -- effects on the human body. What's more, they don't really care what your bank account looks like. Sleeping three hours a night repeatedly? That is begging for immediate problems, and that's what happened to Andersen.
At any rate, it's good to see that Andersen will be okay and that he won't miss any games coaching. It doesn't sound like any of his problems are permanent as yet, and the coach may just be coerced into getting six hours of sleep in a single night sometime soon.